If you’ve been watching my stream, you know I have been playing PvP in Elder Scrolls Online non-stop (North American Server Thornblade Campaign). It’s a part of the game that I haven’t dedicated enough time to and as part of my things to do prior to patch 1.6, it was time to jump in. I wanted to come out with some posts about what I’ve been learning and number one is being preparing for combat with the right equipment, skills and siege.
Table of Contents
If you’re brand new to Player vs. Player (PvP) in Elder Scrolls Online, you might want to check out Party Pyro’s articles prior to jumping into this. Cyrodiil can be considered a hostile war ground and you should treat it as such. When I was in the military, we did a combat kit check prior to going “outside the wire.” We can implement the same type of practice for Cyrodiil to maximize our success. My basic Combat Kit is listed below with details on how I use this equipment.
It takes Alliance Points (AP) to make AP. When I was brand new to PvP, I often said “screw it I’m not spending my AP to siege keeps.” That is a terrible attitude because one Flaming Oil, one Meatbag or repair kit might be the difference in a 5,000 AP defensive or offensive tick (reward). For more information on how to use these, check out Party Pyro’s Siege Guide, but here’s a list of my general load-out. Keep in mind, this is what I use for a typical two to three hour game play session. You’ll need more or less depending on your allotted game time.
+ Huge damage on personnel
– Can’t be used on flat surface
These should be setup above a breach location during a siege defense for massive damage when the enemy is breaking through. This can make or break a defense and one person can operator two at a time thus at least two is needed on your combat kit.
+ Massive damage on keeps
– High AP cost
I like to double fire these while attacking a keep so setting up two close to each other like oil pots. The faster you get that keep down, the faster you can setup a defense. A good substitute if you don’t have any AP is Dominion Fire Ballista for $450 gold each. About half the damage though it’s nice for those new to PvP without AP.
Destroying personnel (tons of usage)
+ Get artillery if you don’t want to get into the fray
– Prepare to be targeted
I truly had zero idea how powerful a well placed Meatbag can be. Deploy these early and often in open fields, on defensive (yes they fit inside keeps) any opportunity for massive zerg, drop and pop these. It’s the zerg killer siege weapon.
Keep assault (inner wall)
– Long reload
If you want to flip or take over a keep fast, having Stone Trebuchet on the outer wall while you’re raining down stones on the inner is the pro move. Make sure to grab a couple of these for fast flips where speed is key like an unprotected keep deep in enemy territory.
+ Massive damage on front door
– Easily countered
Rarely do you see the Battering Ram coming out in Cyrodiil these days but you should consider keeping one in your pack. A couple of tricks is one, you can still cast spells while operating the ram. Just stand on top of it and spam healing. Two, you can still combine this with Dominion Ballista. So don’t just ram the door, get more siege on it.
+ Great AP after a flip
– Can rack up gold cost
Until recently, after we took control of an enemy keep (flip) I would just stand around waiting for the next thing to do. Now I immediately rush to repair the outer wall first then the inner. Essentially every repair is work 25 AP or so and costing $90 gold each. It’s a decent exchange and plus you help your alliance so bring a ton of these.
+ Easy AP
– Often doors aren’t breached
Bring a few of these in your pack in case the enemy uses a battering ram trick to speed cap a keep. Similar in effect as the Masonry kits, don’t just stand around repair!
Optional – There are some additional options and more complex siege strategies. I honestly don’t know how to implement them effectively yet, so I’m not going to recommend them until I gain a better understanding. Please leave me a comment if you know of some tricks!
Get ready to spend tons of gold for top end PvP consumables. These truly make or break your character’s performance and can change the tide of the battle. Downside it takes a lot of time farming materials or money to continue using these supplies. If you want to be on top, you need to be prepared and this separates the good from the great.
Defensive potions called Tri-Pots
Generally $13,000 gold per 100 (stack)
Recipe Bugloss + Columbine + Mountain Flower + Water (Clouded Mist VR 5)
This potion is a PvP equivalent to a intravenous shot of adrenaline. Every 30 seconds or so, I’m chugging these things down in the middle of a zerg to get back all three resources. Potions do no good in your bank or while you’re dead. Use these early and often to get an advantage.
Offensive for magicka based builds (weapon one exist too)
Generally $11,000 gold per 100
Recipe Cornflower + Lady’s Smock + Water Hyacinth + Water (Clouded Mist VR 5)
When on the offensive, make sure to switch out to a spell or weapon power potion. Seems like overkill to have some many options, but trust me, the best defensive is a good ol’ Impulse spamming ball of flame. Chugging one of these and push the zerg back screaming “for the Queen” can break the zerg line.
Utility for preventing gankers (AKA Critborn the stream sniper)
Generally $4,000 gold per 100
Recipe Cornflower + Wormwood + Water (any can be used, same effect)
If you’re like me and stream PvP, you will inevitable acquire a “fan club,” also known as stream snipers. Yes people will watch your stream just to find where you and attempt to kill you at inopportune times. Put them on the defensive with some stealth detect potions (Critborn I’m talking about you).
Attributes buff (provisioning craft)
Generally $10,000 gold per 100
Recipe – Honey Comb, Pinguis, Salt, Garlic, Pepper
I highly recommend tri-stat food for PvP. You need massive amounts of stamina regardless if you’re a magicka based build. One extra dodge roll, one extra burst of sprinting and one CC break might make or break a fight. Generally, I like 3,000 health, 2,500 main stat (magicka or stamina depending on your build) and 1,500 off stat.
For resurrecting allies
Generally $10,000 gold per 100
Buy from vendors or found
Don’t be the derp who yolo’s in and dies right away (me). If you are, hopefully your friendly alliance brings some Soul Gems. Remember, no Forward Camps so everyone needs to pitch in on resurrections.
You look like an awesome Nord
Only thing that shows is your shoulder and or head
Found from drunken soldier under a bridge near Fort Amol in Eastmarch (EP faction)
I can’t stress enough how important it is to wear a disguises. Yes, showing off your Over Powered (OP) min maxed legendary gear is great for your ego, but fighting an enemy with no idea of your build is better. Take every advantage you can get and find a unique outfit that fits your character. Some others are a Goblin and Skeleton costume though I hate the sounds so I don’t use them.
Requires Diamond armor trait
Recommend 4-6 pieces of gear with this
Don’t go into Cyrodiil expecting to light the world on fire with no impenetrable (impen) gear on. This increases your resistance to critical hits. You should really try a mix of crafted and drop sets to take advantage of this trait. Yes you’ll be missing 5 to 10 health or magicka here and there, but you’ll be saved from 2k Snipes to the face.
Full Undaunted guide here
Best I’ve found is Blood Spawn’s Guise
Try a 2 (head shoulders)/5 (armor)/3 (jewelry) setup with a Master Weapon
Ultimate is the name of the game in ESO Patch 1.5. That might all change in 1.6, but for right now, you can’t go wrong with using a proc piece like the one above. That can be found in Spindleclutch the first boss. Great place to practice your PvE DPS and get one of the best sets in the game.
For my full list of addons and setup, check out my YouTube video here. Below are two addons I can’t live without in PvP.
Greymind Quick Slot Bar by bsrealm here
The main problem with ESO’s default UI setup is the inability to quickly swapping in and out consumables or equipment. Thank you bsrealm for making this addon helping us quickly swappping between potions, siege, anything that can go in your quickslots.
It’s very customizable, but what I like is setting keybinds for the six most common quickslot items: defensive potion, offensive potion, stealth detect, food, Dominion Ballista, and Masonry Repair Kit. I use a Razor mouse and I set these as 7,8,9, 0, -, = though the possibilities are near endless. You can tailor this to your style and or game-play and use this outside of Cyrodiil as well. Now when that key flips over, bang with one key stroke you’re repairing.
Kill Counter by mikethecoder4 here
A great man once told me, “you only get what you measure.” Yes another cliche I know, but it makes sense. By default, ESO doesn’t really have any means to judge your performance. Another amazing community addon is Kill Counter by mikethecoder4. I downloaded this on my editing computer so it’s all zeros, however, it will record a running total for your entire PvP history. So, it’s a great way to judge if you’re improving daily, monthly or by campaign.
The key numbers I pay attention to are kills/deaths (K/D), killing blows (KP) and AP gained. Though these are pretty obvious let me explain.
- K/D ratio – This number is a bit skewed if you’re healing as you get credit for the kills your party members provide. On a good night with a well coordinated group, I usually hover around 10:1 (10 kills to one death). While playing solo, a good ratio for me is 6:1. A lot of this depends on your class, ability, gear, and the amount of hours you’ve played that character. Either way, pay attention and try to improve this.
- KB – Some of my builds (Frag Out specifically) are killing blow machines. While doing mindless amounts of damage is great, finishing off enemies and being the teams executioner is just as important. Ask yourself, am I actually killing things? Well now you can know with Kill Counter. On my Dragonknight, I average a lowly 1:10 or something. My job is to get people’s attention and AoE, cause tons of chaos for my snipers in the rear. It’s a decent average. On a good night with my Sorcerer, I can average a 1:4 ratio. That is very hard to achieve but will help you focus in the weak targets begging to die.
- AP gained – Keeping an eye AP/per hour produces urgency. Are you in stealth sneaking around for 40 minutes just to get one kill and 400 AP? Are you pushing the battle holding a keep deep in enemy territory 20 vs 100 (Decible Guild showed me this)? We are at war people, get some urgency and AP is a good way to see if you’re actively contributing.
Now I got everything setup it’s time to do my final checks.
- Bio – Make sure to empty that bladder. I know it sounds funny, but every second counts and we want to maximize our time and concentration.
- Repair Your Gear – If you’ve been doing some PvE prior, hit a vendor and repair quick.
- Mic Check – Are you on TeamSpeak3? You should be if you’re in a group.
- Start Recording – You don’t want to miss your epic 1vX kills so start recording! I use Xsplit Gamecaster and GeForce Experience to capture my videos.
- Walk Dogs – If you know me, my dogs love to make appearances in my streams. Shepard (my huge lab/Dane mix) will not stop until he gets what he wants. So I make sure to give him a long 30 minute walk prior.
- Offline Mode – Yes, I even set myself to offline mode when seriously PvPing. I love talking to people in the community, but sometimes I want full concentration and PvP is one of them.
- DUBSTEP MUSIC – Lastly we need some epic motivation. Dubstep is my favorite and I have my own mix on YouTube here if you want to listen to it.
I can’t stress enough how much I’m enjoying PvP. I’m learning a lot more every day thanks to a lot of friendly and helpful community members. Whether you’re blue, yellow, or red, get in there and enjoy this. Nothing like ESO Cyrodiil, truly. Time to go for Emperor soon in 2015.